|Posted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 4:01 am Post subject: For Sale: Howard Clark 1086M Finished Katana
Torii Sori 5/8”
Motohaba 1-3/10" tapering to 1" Sakihaba
Motokasane: 3/10" tapering to 2/10" at the Yokote
Raw Blade Weight 1 lb, 13 oz.
Copper Habaki by Patrick Hastings, Gold Plated.
Here's some text that Keith Larman wrote about this wonderful sword:
This is a custom 1086 sword made by Howard Clark in the more unusual Unokubi Zukuri sword shape. Unokubi zukuri literally means "Cormorant's Neck", a reference to a type of waterfowl with a long neck. So it is appropriate that this swords also has a full set of custom made "sea" themed fittings to match. The tsuba depicts a seaside scene with the water, sand and seaside creatures. The fuchi has seashells in the same style.
Unokubi zukuri is distinguished by having a "regular" shinogi zukuri shape on the bottom half of the blade but the upper half has a diagonal shinogi ji cut in instead. The idea is to create a faster balance to the blade. This blade in particular is a robust design but with the unokubi shaping the blade still feels relatively fast in the hands. It should make an excellent fast cutter while still being relatively robust.
The kissaki is a relatively long kissaki with a very nice hamon. The tsuka is 11.75" long and follows the shaping and sori of the blade. The tsuka is wrapped in silk tsukaito and the final wrapping was done by Jesse Pelayo. He did a fantastic job.
On this tsuka I used a very high grade samekawa (rayskin). I spent extra time polishing the nodes and "antiquing" the skin to give it a more "pearlescent" glow. With the seashells and ocean theme I thought it would be nice to make the nodes of the skin glow more like pearls.
The saya is alder carved to the blade. The saya starts off with a deep blue at the koiguchi and fades to black by the kojiri (also a shell themed piece). The deep blue contains bits of gold foil truly randomly placed to represent the "flecks" and reflections of life in the water. And as you go deeper the water gets dark to black.
The copper habaki was wonderfully textured by Patrick Hastings. I made the seppa for the blade originally out of solid silver but we decided to move to gold highlights so the seppa and the habaki were all given a deep, rich 24k solid gold plating.
Priced at $6,900 OBO, which represents a tremendous value - to reproduce this sword today would cost much more (if you could order a blade, hire the craftsmen, etc.).
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